Published: Wed, May 09, 2018
World | By Camille Rivera

China Trade Surplus With US Continues To Mount Amid Frictions

China Trade Surplus With US Continues To Mount Amid Frictions

"China's top economic advisor, the vice premier, will be coming here next week to continue the discussions with the president's economic team", said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders on Monday.

China's surplus with the United States widened in April, underlining an imbalance between the economic titans as they struggle to reach an agreement on averting a potentially damaging trade war.

Highlighting the challenge of significantly reducing that gap any time soon, China's trade surplus with the United States widened to US$22.19 billion last month, from US$15.43 billion in March, according to Reuters calculations based on customs data released yesterday.

Its imports from the USA rose 20.3 percent, the fastest growth in three months.

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Imports expanded 12.9 per cent year-on-year in dollar terms, leaving the country's global trade surplus for the month at $28.8 billion, a turnaround from a $5 billion deficit the month before. They included cutting the U.S. trade deficit with China by $200 billion by the end of 2020 and halting Chinese subsidies for advanced technology industries.

"We are working on something that we think will be great for everybody", said Sanders who promised to keep reporters "posted as discussions are ongoing".

The data released by China on Tuesday showed its trade surplus with the USA totalled US$80.4 billion in January-April, up from $50 billion in the same period past year. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, Assistant to the President for Economic Policy Larry Kudlow, and Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro were all on the trip.

China's imports from the U.S. climbed 11.6 percent between January and April, which however wasn't enough to offset a 13.9-percent rise in exports to that country. Last year's merchandise trade surplus totaled $375 billion, according to USA data, while Chinese statistics put it at about $276 billion.

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China's foreign ministry called the White House statement a "positive signal".

A Reuters report citing sources said China had offered to buy more U.S. goods and lower tariffs on some goods, including cars.

Imports in April also showed robust growth of 22% from past year, up to USD171.7 billion. China's communist leaders have countered by outlining $50 billion in USA goods that they would target with retaliatory duties on goods including aircraft and soybeans.

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